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Places to Visit in South Wales

There are plenty of interesting and beautiful places to visit in South Wales, I know most of them well, I grew up there. South Wales is an area with much to offer, beaches, history, culture, nightlife, and breathtaking scenery being just some of them.

I love the area and it’s one of many I call home as a global travel blogger. Here are some highly recommended places to visit in South Wales, some you’ll know, some you won’t. Links lead to more detailed information on attractions, historical sites, museums and some of the best places to visit in South Wales.

Iconic places to see in South Wales
Iconic, best, most interesting places to see in South Wales. You can save this to Pinterest!

Places to Visit in South Wales.

In no particular order and with apologies if we missed your pick, here are some of our favourite places to visit in South Wales. This is a post I add to as we visit a new place that strikes us as beautiful or interesting, there is much more to come.

Any post on this site may contain affiliate links. We earn commission on these should you make a purchase. All recommendations are genuine and we are not paid to include products, hotels, and so on.

All information was correct at time of writing, please double check times and admissions as things could have changed.

Tenby

Tenby Wales Fishing Harbour Pembokeshire

As I child I swam in summer seas among the boats of Tenby harbour. As an adult I’d visit in winter, to enjoy the great restaurants and walk around this pretty little town. I think it’s best in the winter when the sea is rough and the crowds have gone. These days Tenby hosts the Wales Iron Man in early Autumn. Read our coverage of Tenby Ironman Wales here.

Barry Island

Things to do in South Wales. Barry Island Wales
Barry Island, the British sea side at its best in Wales.

I wrote a post about Barry Island, the home of Gavin and Stacey. It’s a perfect British seaside town, great for walks and fish and chips in winter or beach activities in summer. I hear the Island is undergoing a massive face-lift right now, well worth another visit.

Caerleon’s Roman Ruins   FREE

Things to do in South Wales. Caerleon Wales Roman amphitheatre
The Roman amphitheatre, barracks, baths and museum in Caerleon, South Wales, make a great, educational day out with kids.

Everybody knows Bath. But did you know about the Roman ruins in Caerleon? There is an amphitheatre, barracks, a Roman bath and  parts of the Roman fortress walls are still standing. While you’re in Caerleon you should check out some of the excellent pubs, try The Hanbury Arms on the River Usk, the building is over 400 years old.

Newport’s Transporter Bridge

Places to visit in Wales. The Transporter Bridge, Newport South Wales
The transporter bridge in Newport, Wales. Not quite one of a kind, but incredibly rare.

Twenty transporter bridges once existed, now only six are left in the whole world. It’s still in operation and worth the trip over the Severn Bridge to see. Read more about Newport’s transporter bridge here.

Castell Coch, near Cardiff

Castell Coch. Things to do in South Wales. Near Cardii Castle

This fairy-tale castle, actually a Victorian folly,  sits atop Norman ruins on a hill just outside Cardiff. You can see straight away why it has been used as a set for TV and movies over the years, it’s absolutely beautiful. Take a walk through the woods outside or enter to see the beautiful decorative art work on walls and ceilings. There is a full post on Castell Coch here

Big Pit Mining Museum   FREE

Big Pit Mining Museum South Wales Places to Visit in South Wales UK

I’ve already posted about Big Pit, we visited almost by accident a couple of years ago and loved the place. It’s got to be the most unusual museum I’ve ever visited. You are taken on a tour of the mine, a disused coal mine, with head torches and helmets by real ex-miners. You can explore the old pit head baths and find out how hard life was for miners and their families.

Cardiff Bay   FREE

Cardiff Bay Wales. Things to do, places to visit in Wales,
Cardiff Bay is a must-visit for lovers of architecture, the sea, history and Whovians.

Cardiff bay has it all, smart bars, restaurants, hotels, history and Doctor Who. Roald Dahl place houses the iconic Torchwood Tower, a little further around the bay was the The Doctor Who experience, I took the kids, they loved it, click the link to read more.

 The Museum of Welsh Life Near Cardiff    FREE

Things to do in South Wales
Looking for things to do in South Wales? The Museum of Welsh Life near Cardiff is fantastic and free.

The Museum of Welsh Life is a fabulous, free attraction in the village of St Fagans near Cardiff. It’s wonderful that museums like this are free. This collection of ancient Welsh buildings is a lovely place for a family walk at any time of year. See our post on The Museum of Welsh Life at St. Fagans for more detail and some great photos.

The Doctor Who Experience Cardiff

Cyber Man Cardiff Doctor Who Experience Wales

This Doctor Who exhibition started its run in London before relocating to its rightful home, Wales. The Doctor Who Experience building sits on Cardiff bay and was well worth a visit. We have a full post on the Wales Doctor Who Experience here, and on London Doctor Who Experience, here. Update – They closed it down – why would they do that?

St David’s Cathedral, Pembrokeshire

Pembrokeshire Wales St David's Cathedral
Stunning and absolutely a must-visit. St David’s Cathedral was founded by the Saint himself back in the 6th century and houses many fascinating historic relics.

At the far end of Pembrokeshire you’ll find St David’s. Officially a city as it has a cathedral, but looking like a village, this ancient spot holds the most interesting cathedral I’ve ever visited. Royal and religious history collide here and there is a treasure hunt for the children. Admission is by donation.

Back to our main Wales Travel Blog page. South Wales is great but also try and get west and further north. we also have a post on road trip into west wales, from Tenby, Pembrokeshire to Cardigan Bay and Newquay Wales.

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Alyson is the creator of World Travel Family travel blog and is a full-time traveller, blogger and travel writer. A lifetime of wanderlust and now over 7 years on the road, 50+ countries allowed the creation of this website, for you. She has a BSc and worked in pathology before entering the travel arena and creating this website. World Travel Family Travel Blog has been helping you travel more, better and further since 2012, when Alyson and James first had this life changing idea. On this site you can find endless travel information, tips and guides plus how to travel, how to fund travel and how to start your own travel blog.

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El

Saturday 2nd of May 2020

Of all the lovely places and you choose Barry island... 😂😂😂😂😂

Alyson for World Travel Family

Sunday 3rd of May 2020

Best place in Wales!

Maaike

Saturday 14th of October 2017

Such a lovely post! I'm lucky enough to have a friend living near Cardiff (literally looking out on Castel Coch!), so I visited quite a few of these places already. As a Gavin & Stacey fan, Barry Island was great fun! But also the Museum of Welsh Life was such a lovely surprise. I'll be back mid-November so can't wait to see more of South Wales. Thanks for adding some more ideas to my list :)

Leah

Friday 11th of July 2014

How embarrassing *blush*. I was reading through these and thinking "why haven't I seen any of these in New South Wales". Then it hit me, I wasn't even looking at the right country! Wales looks likes a place to visit.

William

Tuesday 19th of February 2019

it does sound good especially Castell Coch, near Cardiff

Linda Bibb

Friday 11th of July 2014

I was quite impressed by Cardiff Castle, and if I manage to find the opportunity to return to Wales I plan to return.

Andrew

Thursday 10th of July 2014

Have you been to St David's? Pembrokeshire is great with Pembroke Castle. The Royal Welsh Show is on in a couple of weeks and although its on the West coast, New Quay is one of my favourite places in Wales! Love it! :-)

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Thursday 10th of July 2014

Yes Andrew, many, many times. I love this corner of Wales. Being home over Christmas last year was really wonderful, fresh eyes, as it were.

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